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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Albarino - Made For Summertime Sipping on the Patio

Two Prime Picks for #AlbarinoDay!

Albarino - Made For Summertime Sipping on the Patio
Finally, a made up marketing day that I wholeheartedly support.

While I may not be a fan of all these made-up days, created solely for marketing purposes (#CabernetDay and the like), I am a fan of anything that promotes Albarino. Why? Let me put it this way...if Spain, which has more vineyard land than any other country, chooses Albarino as one of the very few white varieties that it produces and labels as a single varietal, there just might be something special here.

Today I've got a couple picks to help convince you of this, but first let's find out a little bit more about Albarino.

Albarino Quick Facts:
  • Accounts for 90% of the grapes grown in Rias Baixas (ree-ahs-buy-shuss), Spain.
  • Also produced in Portugal where it is called Alvarinho -- and is used in some of those delicious Vinho Verde wines.
  • Usually fermented in stainless steel which produces a lighter bodied wine.
  • Barrel fermentation and oak aging are also occasionally used which produces a fuller wine.
  • Many times produced slightly effervescent, or frizzante.
  • This is a low yielding variety that is expensive to cultivate.
  • Generally best consumed within 3 years.
  • A great match with seafood.
  • Info taken from here and here.

Of course the best way to experience Albarino is to taste it, and so in addition to the two fine selections below be sure to check out all of our other recommended Albarino buys here. And now onto today's picks!

First up is the 2011 Pazo Torrado Albarino.

2011 Pazo Torrado Albarino
A lively little number.

100% Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain. SRP of $15 and available for as low as $13. Sample submitted for review.

From the bottle:
"Pazo Torrado is a 100% Albarino wine from the Salnes Valley belonging to the Rias Baixas Designation of Origin in Galicia. The camelia flower on the label, symbolizes the freshness and floral beauty of this wonderful Albarino, with aromas of citrus and tropcial fruit flavors.

12.5% Alcohol"
The 2011 Pazo Torrado Albarino begins with a salty, green apple aroma with complementary floral notes. Tasting the wine reveals a lively texture with fresh acidity and lots of lime, green apple and citrus flavors. This is a very pure and refreshing wine. It ends with a nice clean finish and good length. It's both easy to drink and interesting - two things that don't always go together.

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Taste Rating: 8              Cost Rating: 6
Overall Rating: 7.5



Our second pick is the 2011 Adega Pazos de Lusco Albarino.

2011 Adega Pazos de Lusco Albarino
Why not make every day #AlbarinoDay this summer?

100% Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain. SRP of $22 and available for as low as $19.99. Sample submitted for review.

From the bottle:
"A Pazos de Lusco was founded in 1996 upon acquisition of the historic Pazo Pineiro estate, a 12 acre property offering ideal growing conditions for the spectacular, aromatic Albarino grape variety. Lusco, the result of superb fruit and natural wine-making, offers concentration and elegance on a par with the world's finest dry white wines.

13.0% Alcohol"
The 2011 Lusco Albarino begins with pleasing aromas of pear, a little citrus, sea salt and a hint of lemon custard. Tasting the wine reveals a substantial mouthfeel with a nice zestiness to it. You'll also find lots of citrus and mineral notes plus a little tropical fruit that builds into the finish. This is a bigger wine than the Pazo Torrado, with everything amplified a bit. On the finish the tart tropical fruit continues for a surprisingly long time and a bit of lemon custard from the nose reappears.

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Taste Rating: 9              Cost Rating: 1
Overall Rating: 7.0


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